It is more than three years later, and still, the accused rapist and murderer of 5-year-old Chantelle Makwena from Rocklands, Gqeberha – lovingly known as “pienk meisie” – has not even pleaded in court yet. Earlier this year, he was “too ill” to appear in court, and he fired his state-appointed lawyer this week. Nevertheless, Action Society hopes he will get his day in court tomorrow.
The suspect allegedly raped and killed Chantelle and hid her beaten, half-naked body under dirt in bricks in a dilapidated toilet on 2 August 2019. He was arrested the next day but released the following day. Until that time, he had been evading arrest on a previous charge where he raped a 50-year-old woman.
The DNA forensic report for Chantelle’s rape and murder was completed a shocking two years after the incident. The police finally arrested the suspect on 30 July 2021, and he has been in custody since.
“The Chantelle Makwena case is a horrible example of how the entire judicial system fails vulnerable South Africans,” said Ian Cameron, director of community safety at Action Society. “Had this murderer-rapist not been released on the first charge, he would not have been able to kill Chantelle. Had his DNA sample been taken upon arrest and there not been a DNA-processing backlog, he could have been linked to Chantelle’s case much sooner.
“We can only hope his name will be added to the Register of Sexual Offenders once he is finally found guilty.”